The Vertical sources:

Harvey Updyke's dunk tank appearance canceled

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday
Football brings glory, shame alike to Alabamians

View photo

FILE - In this June 10, 2013, file photo, Harvey Updyke, left, departs the Lee County Justice Center in Opelika, Ala., with his bail bondsman and his attorney. The state's football fervor drew plenty of attention after the 2010 Iron Bowl, when Updyke, an Alabama fan, poisoned Auburn's two iconic oak trees at Toomer's Corner, whose branches were decorated with toilet paper during victory celebrations for decades. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File)

If you were planning to take your shot at Harvey Updyke in a dunk tank, you have some apparent e-unruly fans to thank for your missed opportunity.

The Toomer's Corner oaks poisoner's appearance at a charity event in Mobile, Ala., has been canceled. According to ESPN, former Alabama QB AJ McCarron, his wife Katherine and his mother Dee Dee Bonner, who were helping organize the event, received "death threats and other ugly messages on social media."

"It seems to be taking away from the primary purpose, which is raising awareness for children's cancer," Bonner told ESPN. "We don't want to take away from the focus. We needed to get away from it."

(A Friday morning search of the mentions of the Twitter accounts of Bonner, McCarron and Webb turned up few references to the event. It's possible tweets could have been reported or deleted.)

Updyke poisoned the trees on the Auburn campus with herbicide after Auburn beat Alabama in 2011. He admitted his crime when calling in to the Paul Finebaum Show under an alias. He served six months in jail for the crime and was released last spring.

The charity event was to support the family of a boy in Mobile who died of cancer earlier this year. People would have the chance to dunk Updyke or pie him in the face for a donation to Roses for Linda, a charity that helps families with transportation costs to see terminally ill loved ones and children's cancer research.

"I think Mr. Updyke's heart was in the right place with what he wanted to do, but I think too many people are still upset about what he did and haven't gotten over it," Bonner said. "I didn't approve of what he did, but I think he really wanted to help."

Updyke currently lives in Louisiana. The event was scheduled on an Alabama off weekend.

- - - - - - -

Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

View Comments (3)